Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, fired back at Democrats who criticized Attorney General William Barr for his role in former Trump associate Roger Stone‘s sentencing and defended the president’s use of Twitter after he used the platform to comment about the ongoing criminal case.
“The president doesn’t shed his First Amendment expressive rights by becoming president of the United States and the Chief Executive Officer of the federal government,” Lee told “The Story” Wednesday.
“If he chooses to communicate this way, this is his prerogative, it’s not the prerogative of these deep state Department of Justice liberals who join together in this group and called this somehow a ‘violation of the Constitution.’ This is a frivolous argument and they should be ashamed of themselves.”
Lee added that “regardless of whether you think this is how you would like to have the president and his attorney general communicating, this is 2020 and this is a time in which this president came to power based in part on the fact that he has learned to harness the power of social media.”
The president’s tweets regarding his former associate received immediate criticism from many on the left, who have called on the attorney general to resign over perceived interference from the White House regarding the Department of Justice seeking to reduce Stone’s recommended sentence.
Lee, who serves on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said he has no knowledge of Barr’s plan to leave his position, aside from the multiple reports claiming Barr told people close to him he’s considering stepping down over Trump’s tweets, days after the attorney general admitted that Trump’s tweeting made it “impossible for me to do my job.”
“I don’t suspect this is something that is going to culminate in his departure,” Lee said, “but I don’t know him well enough to be able to guess whether that’s going to happen. You’ve got to remember the president is Bill Barr’s boss,” he added, noting that “the president of the United States has every right to speak out on this issue.”
Lee, however, wasn’t surprised by the Democrats’ overreaction, he said.
“Of course the Democrats want this, these are the same Democrats who just impeached the 45th president of the United States without any valid basis in fact or in law,” Lee said.
“He’s got an attorney general who has an established track record, who is respected, a no-nonsense prosecutor and a seasoned, wise attorney. … Of course, they want him gone.”
Lee added, “this doesn’t make it right… it doesn’t mean they have a valid basis for doing so, because they don’t.”
The Justice Department pushed back Tuesday night at reports of Barr’s resignation, tweeting that he “has no plans to resign.”
Fox News’ Talia Kaplan contributed to this report.